How Speedo Created A Record-Breaking Swimsuit

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    Jul 29, 2012 11:52 PM GMT
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-speedo-created-swimsuit

    After officials banned the swimsuit that caused records to fall at the 2008 Games, scientists are back with a new outfit that could break more

    In 2009, Speedo’s research team began to brainstorm innovative ways to help swimmers go faster. The polyurethane bodysuits that contributed to an astonishing number of swimming world records over the previous 18 months had been banned. To think outside the box, the Speedo representatives met outside the lab, joining academics, coaches and research consultants at hotels, conference centers and even an English country house to spawn ideas, ideas inspired more by Captain Avenger than Mark Spitz.

    “Lots of conversation was had around wild and wacky ideas,” says Joe Santry, the research manager for Speedo’s Aqualab in Nottingham, England. “Some of the initial sketch concepts brought to the table looked like a superhero suit with a sleek cap, goggle, and suit combination that wouldn’t look out of place in a Marvel comic.”

    They were trying to replace the now infamous full-body LZR suit. Dubbed “the rubber suit,” it compressed a swimmer’s body into a streamlined tube and trapped air, adding buoyancy and reducing drag. Speedo says 98 percent of the medals at the 2008 Olympics were won by swimmers wearing the LZR. Michael Phelps set world marks in seven of his eight events at Beijing wearing the suit, but applauded its ban.

    The new rules, in effect since 2010, permit only “jammers,” suits from the kneecap to navel for men, and from the knee to shoulder for women. The fabric must be air permeable, and a suit may not have any fastening devices such as a zipper, a response to companies that began creating wetsuit-like neoprene suits after the 2008 Olympics.

    Ultimately, Speedo decided to rebuild not only the suit, but create a “racing system” that it claims combines the suit and the goggles and cap working in synergy to reduce drag and improve performance.


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    Jul 30, 2012 4:51 AM GMT
    I saw an interview last week with Ryan Lochte where he said he would prefer to return to the old style "banana hammocks." icon_cool.gif
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    Jul 30, 2012 9:29 AM GMT
    Speaking about swim suits. Have you noticed that most of the guys in the Olympics seem to be wearing their cocks up inside those swim suits that all look the same except for the colours? Does the fact that they wear their cocks up, reduce drag? I would appreciate some comment from an experienced swimmer. Thanks